What would you expect out of a book that's based on Cricket and specific Cricketers? I am sure you would be expecting summaries on Sachin-Dravid-Ganguly-Laxman-Sehwag's pre-Cricket and Cricket life. But what if the book does not have any of these Cricketers' story? You would be expecting Kohli-Raina-Dhoni-Yuvraj and co. in the book. Right? This is still not the case. That's what Shamya Dasgupta has surprisingly done in his 2nd non-fiction book "Cricket Changed my Life". No, he is not talking about how Cricket changed his life but of the few players that he talks about in the book. The tagline of the book says,"Stories of Hope and Despair from the IPL and elsewhere". The first book by Shamya Dasgupta was based upon Boxing in India.
When I picked up this book to read, I was sure that I would get disappointed in the end as who would like to know about the Cricketers who are known only in the First-class Cricket or IPL, in the best case. But now when I am done reading the book, I am surprised with the approach of the author of letting us know about many stars who didn't have the destiny to be in the Indian Cricket Team but they are as good as anybody playing in their times. Though author has a bias towards all these players because of which they are in the book but he makes no restrictions while telling how bad they performed in the seasons when it mattered most for their career. This is what makes reading Shamya through this book an interesting journey.
Author has also managed to mention Ajit Chandila and Siddharth Trivedi who were wonderful players but caught in the IPL 2013 match-fixing scandal. Author's explanation of why Siddharth Trivedi isn't culprit also looks innocent. It also have mention of Aakash Chopra's life who we have seen commentating and sharing expert advises on Cricket. It also covers players from Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh who have been ignored by the selectors just because they weren't from the cities which develop Cricketers. THE IPL IMPORTS section introduces Ryan Ten Doeschate and Shakib Al Hasan which was a wonderful idea to be put into this book consisting of Indians.
Reading this book, you will realize how sad life of a Cricketer is. Someone is not in the team because of his age in spite of good performances, some have lost the chance because of continuous injuries, some could not play in the Indian team in spite of being in India's Top-3 wicket-keepers because they are born in the times when Dhoni is ruling as keeper and some others who are playing Cricket not to enter the Indian team but just because they like playing. I also came to the conclusion that many players are targeting an IPL entry just because they know they can never be in country's cricket team and they need to earn lots of money through Cricket as they know playing the game ONLY. A wonderful attempt by the author which will open your eyes and see IPL with a very different perspective when it's back next year. The cover page of the book is one of the most interesting covers I have seen in recent times. I give this book 4/5.
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